Arya Ruby, Darjeeling First Flush 2014

Picture of Arya Ruby, Darjeeling First Flush 2014
Brand:Happy Earth Tea
Style:Darjeeling First Flush
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Region:Darjeeling, India
Loose/teabag:Loose
Product page:Arya Ruby, Darjeeling First Flush 2014

This tea's info last updated: May. 28, 2014

Commercial Description

This Arya Ruby is finely crafted with its signature fragrance deep and rich in complexity that will cheer a Darjeeling enthusiast.

Brewing Instructions: (from Happy Earth Tea)

1 tbps for 8 oz, near-boiling, 190F, 3 mins

Ratings & Reviews

Page 1 of 1 page with 2 reviews

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Reviewer pic73 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
(315 reviews) on

Very interesting tea! It's only my second Darjeeling and, so far, I think this will be my preferred style of black tea. It doesn't have the bitterness of most black teas, and this one has a light raisin-like flavor that works quite well with the delicately savory body of the tea. The aroma smells lightly of a licorice-like spice. Generally I'm not a fan of licorice, but it's subtle enough here that it works well as a scent.

I brewed this one a few times, always at 190 °F but with different steep times. My first cup with a fairly short steeping was subtle. My second brewing of that cup was accidentally brewed longer than I intended (maybe 7 minutes?) and didn't damage the flavor too much. I noticed a slight astringency that hadn't been in the first cup, but the overbrewing didn't cause any bitterness. I made a fresh cup this morning, steeped it about 6 minutes, and ended up with a slightly more robust cup that didn't feel overbrewed at all. So it seems to be a pretty forgiving tea regarding steep time, though I don't know how different temperatures affect it.

Due to the tightly crimped nature of the dry leaves, I left quite open gaps in my "teaspoon". This turned out to work well. You can get quite a good cup without a lot of leaves, and it still holds up to at least one resteeping. This mitigates the high sticker price a bit, which in addition to its good quality is why I scored it a 3 on value. Also, I enjoyed seeing the leaves spread from compacted strings to smooth, flat, whole leaves. The drama yet simplicity of this change caused the experience of watching the leaves to feel calming and philosophical moreso than with other teas I've tried. Though perhaps I simply need to make a point to do this more often.
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Link Link to This Review
Reviewer pic70 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
(1403 reviews) on

This tea was remarkable, but I don't think it suited my personal tastes as much as the other first flush teas I've sampled from Happy Earth Tea, both this year and last. I can see others liking it more though. Imagine a high-grade Chinese white tea with the typical Darjeeling muscatel nuances superimposed on it.

The dry leaf is long and curly, quite unlike the look of the other first flush teas. The leaf showed a mix of green, golden, and reddish-brown hues, and had an intensely nutty aroma, delightful to smell. Because it's so curly and completely intact, the leaf takes up a lot of space--note that the brewing instruction says a tablespoon of leaf.

Upon brewing, produces a cup that is nutty and floral, a hint of fresh grassy tones, and a strong suggestion of melon, reminiscent of silver needle white teas. Light-bodied and very refreshing. The resemblance to Chinese white teas, with the melony and floral tones of silver needle, and a few of the nutty tones of bai mu dan, is striking.

Clean, and cooling. If brewed stronger though, there's a faint aroma of candle wax that I find somewhat unpleasant.

Brews a second cup that is light and somewhat thin...also still tasting a lot like silver needle white tea, but darker in color, and with slightly more caramel tones. After this cup, the leaves were still aromatic but there wasn't enough flavor or body left to produce a third cup to my liking.

I tried varying the brewing temperature. At a higher temperature (near boiling) some of the aromatic complexities are lost, but greater astringency comes out, which I like because I think otherwise this tea is a bit thin-bodied. I also recommend steeping a little longer than Happy Earth does--some of their other teas will be far too bold if steeped longer, but this tea seems to infuse very slowly, and I thought was improved by a longer steeping time.

I'd recommend this tea to people who are a fan of bai hao yinzhen (silver needle) white teas, and I'd recommend avoiding it and sticking with the other first flushes from Happy Earth for people (like me) who are less a fan of that type of tea.
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Page 1 of 1 page with 2 reviews

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